Appendix I - FMLA - May 25, 2001
FROM: William E. Doyle, Director - Division of Staffing Services
SUBJECT: FMLA Notification About Employee Participation in the Health Care Spending Account
The Employee Benefits Management Unit of the Governor's Office of Employee Relations has requested that we provide you with the following information about the Health Care Spending Account, a new benefit program established in 2001. Those employees participating in this program who are absent on unpaid FMLA leave have the option of continuing Health Care Spending Account coverage, through post-tax contribution to the Account, or revoking coverage for the remainder of the calendar year. If an employee absent on unpaid FMLA leave does not make arrangements to continue participation, his or her coverage under the Health Care Spending Account will automatically terminate, effective the date of the employee's last contribution into the account. The Family and Medical Leave Act also requires the plan to permit an employee to be reinstated in the Health Care Spending Account upon return from unpaid FMLA leave on the same terms that existed prior to taking FMLA leave.
It is important that agencies provide written notice to employees about their right to continue or revoke coverage under the Health Care Spending Account when the employee requests unpaid FMLA leave. Accordingly, we recommend that agencies revise their FMLA notification letters to include a statement that notifies employees of their right to continue or discontinue coverage in the Health Care Spending Account while on unpaid FMLA leave and to be reinstated in the Health Care Spending Account during the same calendar year upon return from unpaid FMLA leave.
For agencies that use the sample memorandum E (1) or E (2) attached to Policy Bulletin 95-01 dated April 19, 1995 we would suggest that the following sentence be added:
Finally, employees on paid FMLA leave have continued coverage under the Health Care Spending Account unless there is a reduction in salary such that the bi-weekly deduction cannot be taken.
Questions about FMLA notification may be directed to the Attendance and Leave Unit of the Department of Civil Service at (518)457-2295.